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ALW Hiker
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ALW Hiker
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 7:49 pm 
I visited Goat Lake for the first time yesterday - the one off the Mountain Loop Highway. Great place! Next to the outlet stream, on the side of the creek opposite the trail, there is a small cabin / shed. It looks to be about 10' on a side and has a door that someone has left open. I wanted to go check it out, but didn't have time to climb over the large and slippery logjam to get over there, and I didn't feel like fording the creek.
Does anyone know what this building is for? I thought maybe it's related to the old town or mining activities, but based on the condition, it seems like it was built somewhat recently.

mosey
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 8:06 pm 
I can't seem to find any threads related to the Penn camp but I know it's been discussed on here before. I think there is still private land on that side and some ruins. In Bob Heirman's book, Snohomish My Beloved County: An Angler's Anthology, he talks about how his friend bought the property that came with some mining cabins. When they went to check it out they found that the FS had torched them thinking they were on federal land. That little cabin might be a pump house maybe, or a stream gauge? You can see a pipe going into the creek Edit: here's one of the threads I was thinking of. https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8032147&highlight=penn

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Riverside Laker
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 8:12 pm 
The old puncheon road that went to the lake about 100 years ago crossed the creek near there. Then it switched back, crossing it again. There were several building there back then. You can still see some of the old puncheon on the trail (at least five years ago you could). [Edited: this is further below the original poster's photo, so never mind!]

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ALW Hiker
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 8:17 pm 
Interesting, I'll have to see if I can dig up some of those old threads. "Goat Lake" is somewhat hard to search for given the number of lakes with that name, ha ha. It didn't occur to me that there might be private land within the wilderness area, but I do remember reading about that possibility somewhere, though not related to this area. However, I just did a quick search on the Snohomish County Parcel viewer and it seems the entirety of Goat Lake, including the outlet stream down through the waterfall, and everything west of there is national forest land. The nearest private parcel straddles the creek about 1/2 mile downstream (see orange box in picture).

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 8:21 pm 
Oh is that building you posted up at the lake? The area I was referring to is that private parcel at the bottom of the falls. There's an old road that splits to the bottom of the falls. I'm assuming your building is related in some way. Check my edited post for a link.

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ALW Hiker
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 8:23 pm 
Yeah, sorry, I should have been more clear. The building in the picture is right by the lake, across the outlet stream from the campsites.

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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Oct 28, 2022 11:28 pm 
I noticed it as well when I was there last week and also didn't want to deal with scrambling over there to check it out. This was at least my 4th time to Goat lake during the past 15 years and I was surprised I never noticed it before. I might have made the effort to check it out, but it's pretty small and likely uninteresting. Thought it a bit strange too that the modern appearing door was wide open. My guess is that it is possibly a supply-tool shed for doing campground maintenance or something like that.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Schroder
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 5:18 am 
This is something modern. I see a cable running down to the creek so it was probably used to house some measuring device. You would think that Wilderness Watch would have been all over that one considering their response to a seismograph on Glacier Peak.

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 8:45 am 
Schroder wrote:
You would think that Wilderness Watch would have been all over that one considering their response to a seismograph on Glacier Peak.
Maybe they're not aware of this. I wasn't, until this thread.

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Sore Feet
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 9:02 am 
It was likely a stream gauge, active between 1982 and 1993.

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Bramble_Scramble, ALW Hiker, runup, mosey
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SlingShot
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 10:23 am 
I had also wondered what the building was used for. I crossed over the log jam at the lake and then hiked back down the other side of creek to the building. There is one nice large campsite there as well with a fire pit, even thou camp fires are prohibited. The building had a propane grill and a meter box inside. It was also insulated, and unlocked. Here are a few more pics from Aug 2020.

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Riverside Laker
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 1:39 pm 
I also edited my post, as I was thinking of an area further downstream. If intereseted in that, here's a map of the road: Goat Lake, early 20th century

ALW Hiker
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ALW Hiker
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PostSat Oct 29, 2022 1:46 pm 
Thanks for the additional photos! Looks like my estimate of the size was a bit off - doesn't look more than about 6-7' square. Certainly not designed to camp in. It seems odd, to me at least, to build something that large for a stream gauge. I thought those could be done with just a small weatherproof box and a solar panel, with some sort of antenna. But maybe not back in the 80s when that gauge was installed. That structure doesn't look like it has survived 40 Cascade winters, but I'm no expert!

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